Global Chic: 9 Ways To Get The Well-Traveled Look

Saffron Marigold - Updated: September 23, 2021

Decorating in global chic style can create dreamy rooms that transport you to other places, help you convey your own sense of style, and design sophisticated interiors. Put together small, joyful pockets of global experience or a whole-home global design–the choice is up to you. Even better, you don’t have to have a passport filled with stamps to or not to decorate in this style. Whether you’ve trekked the globe, dedicated a Pinterest board to your bucket-list destinations, or prefer the comfort of armchair travel, grace your home with global style in whatever country you call home.

Defining global chic style

When it comes to home decor, global chic style is one of the boldest looks out there. The global home implements international style furniture and eclectic decor with stories to tell. It doesn’t rely on the Kon Mari method; instead, meaningful displays and personal collections feature prominently.

It’s safe to say that the global chic home isn’t necessarily a minimalist home. It’s a little bit bohemian, it nods to the maximalist, and it’s bold and unafraid. It teeters on eclectic decorating but with a significant difference: travel, adventure, and beauty meet in this space. In short, a global-inspired home interior inspires people to remember where they’ve been and dream about the next place they want to be.

1. Begin your global chic design with an anchor piece

Every room needs a focal point, which can be anything from a window to a fireplace. The same idea of having a focal point applies to your home decor. Whether it’s a piece of furniture or a window treatment, start with an anchor piece. In other words, this is a decorative item upon which you’ll build the rest of your design. It might be a vintage bedframe, a rug you fell in love with on your travels, or a special gift from a faraway friend.

global chic bedroom with moroccan decor
photo: Mary F. Saunders

2. Embrace pattern in your global home

A global home is the polar opposite of the matchy-matchy sets offered by big-box retailers. Considering this, feel free to eschew the “rules” about matching patterns and mix them up instead! Applying a variety of patterns remains a hallmark of international interior design. Layer intricate patterns against rich solids (or neutrals to help them stand out even more).

If you’re new to pattern mixing, then consider trying just two different patterns that have some of the same colors in the same room. From Moroccan patterns to animal prints and from stripes to florals, anything and everything works here.

global chic room with moroccan decor and blue and white bedding

3. Global decor celebrates color

Now, it’s perfectly fine to have neutral wall color and wooden furniture or cabinetry in a globally-inspired home–that will provide a canvas or foil for decor in rich hues. However, a sea of neutrals would be so out of place here. Global interiors love color!

World travelers often note how other countries enjoy the use of color everywhere from the gorgeous saris of India to the colorful townhouses of Copenhagen and the buildings of Guanajuato. Find inspiration from your travels, and see how color can truly elevate the mood of a room (and the people in it!).

orange floral tablecloth with boho and global style
photo: Mary F. Saunders

4. Bring in elements of nature

Exotic plants serve as suggestions to their native land ; tropical flowers hints at Hawaiian breezes or Caribbean getaways. A table carved from acacia, monkey pod, or zebra wood carries with it the spirit of its original place. In a global home, eschew the artificial whenever possible and reach for the organic. Skip the vinyl and the plastic and choose furnishings fashioned from natural materials instead.

5. Draw inspiration from around the world

Love French decor and Moroccan-inspired pieces,too? Use them both! Do you love the bold colors of India as well as the delicate florals prints of English cottages? Then what’s stopping you from using the two of them together? Pair modern Scandinavian lines with chintz, Americana–whatever else you like.

Global decorating doesn’t only portray one country’s style; it blends styles together for a unique look. Top you grandmother’s Shaker-style dresser with traditional Indian decor. Mix a menagerie of Mexican pottery with your Russian nesting dolls. Whatever you do, surround yourself with things you love. It will only add to the collected, well-traveled look that you’re trying to build.

global chic and cottage decor from Barn Home Living and Saffron Marigold
photo: April Hershberger @barnhomeliving

6. Global style loves all things handmade

There’s just something magical about knowing that an item was made entirely by hand. World travelers, crafters, and designers alike appreciate having a one-of-a-kind piece, crafted by human hands. If you enjoy browsing markets, boutiques, and bazaars for pottery, stained glass, and other handcrafted items, then be sure to put them on display!

7. Display treasured travel trinkets the global chic way

Global decorating doesn’t mean that you should plaster your walls with generic travel word art or cookie-cutter items that purchased at the mall. After all, a world traveler’s spirit is to collect meaningful mementos to remind him or her of their travels. With that said, don’t feel like a travel wall or curio is the only way to preserve and highlight your memories.

Mix things up and frame the map you used while strolling through Stockholm, display pottery or artwork you acquired on your journey, and embrace and display textiles. Even small home accents can help infuse your space with global flair. Display these together in groupings: on bookcases, on the mantel, on floating shelves.

8. Use textiles to share global vibes

Each country has its own tradition of textiles and textile art, from the silks of east Asia to the rugs of Persia and the block prints of India. Seek out textiles that speak to your travel memories or design aesthetic. Don’t be surprised to find textiles with richly saturated colors while on your quest!

Rich natural dyes are often the underpinnings of ethnic fabrics–and we do use many vegetable dyes in our collections. These lend themselves to bold color and inform how we can use color in our homes. 

9. Shop fair trade

Tap into your sense of travel and your love for locally-made, artisanal items by shopping fair trade. This is one way that you can continue to support artists, makers, and craftspeople when buying items made in various countries of the world. Fair trade businesses work to alleviate poverty, ensure proper wages, and employ sound, ethical business practices.

Saffron Marigold collections of block printed textiles found their inspiration in far-flung locations across the globe. Each linen was handmade by artisans trained in the heritage craft of Indian wood block printing. Filled with color and pattern, our designs are meant to bring you on a journey–the very definition of global chic style.

See Our Global Collections